“It is about 100 tons more around Christmas,” said Don Osborne, deputy director of Public Works. “It varies from different times of the year.”
Cardboard is one of the most profitable items the city diverts from the landfill by selling it to manufacturers. “We want to keep money coming in from that,” said Pat Biegler, director of Public Works.
Osborne said cardboard makes up almost 25 percent of the waste stream. “It’s a big chunk of what we are recycling,” he said.
In addition to cardboard, the city also collects plastic, Nos. 1-7; all types of paper including envelopes, magazines, junk mail and other papers; aluminum and steel cans.
With no market for it, glass no longer is accepted by the city. For a fee, medical needles and syringes, mattresses, plastic toys, car parts, styrofoam, tires and wax-coated containers can be disposed at the landfill.
Recycling saves millions of dollars when it comes to the life of the city’s landfill. Six years ago, Biegler said the life of the landfill was projected at 27 years. Diverting more solid waste to recycling has extended the life to 37 years, Biegler said.
“We’ve saved 15 years in the landfill,” she said. It will cost the city more than $25 million to close the landfill after it runs out of space.
If your collection day is on Monday — Christmas Day — crews will pick up your area on Wednesday. The other collection days remain the same during the week.
Anyone who is interested in recycling and doesn’t have a blue bin, call 311. The city provides a small blue bin or the large 95-gallon container. They are free.
Even if you don’t have a bin, collection crews will pick up cardboard if it is separated in a container beside your garbage. “We’ve seen a lot of folks out there that don’t have recycling containers at all,” Biegler said.
If you’ve seen something that needs attention, give me a call.